(Des Moines) — It was announced during the Des Moines Register’s RAGBRAI route announcement party Saturday evening that Le Mars, known as the “Ice Cream Capital of the World” will be hosting the annual bicycle ride across Iowa, known as RAGBRAI. Le Mars was mentioned to kick off the ride, scheduled to begin on July 19, 2020. Le Mars mayor, Dick Kirchoff, who is vacationing in Florida during the announcement, says the news is great news for the town of Le Mars.
“Totally elated,” was the initial reaction from Kirchoff when he was informed of the news.
Kirchoff says the Convention and Visitors Bureau board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, and that will be the start to organizing the committee to host the thousands of bicyclists.
Several people, in anticipation of Le Mars being named as the host overnight community, were watching the announcement live via on-line streaming. A small group of people, representing Le Mars, were at the announcement party being held in Des Moines. One bicycle enthusiast, and a member of the Plymouth County Cycling Club, Mark Sturgeon was in Des Moines hoping that Le Mars would be selected to host RAGBRAI.
This will be the first time Le Mars has hosted the annual bicycle ride since 2005. Sturgeon says Le Mars was a pass through community when Hawarden hosted the event.
The Plymouth County Fairgrounds will no doubt serve as one of the facilities for the thousands of bicyclists to camp overnight. Loren Schnepf serves as the president of the Plymouth County Fair.
The 2020 RAGBRAI will go through Le Mars, Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Anamosa, Maquoketa, and Clinton.